03 Oct Dim Sum and Then Some: 4 Local Restaurants in Kennedy Town You Have To Try
Once a sleepy working-class enclave at the end of the tram line, Kennedy Town is fast becoming a hipster haven for food and drink, with new craft beer bars, cold-brew coffee cafés and trendy restaurants seemingly popping up every day. But if you prefer to get a taste of Hong Kong’s culinary history instead, it’s still more than worth it to pay K-Town a visit. There are plenty of eateries left that have been feeding hungry factory workers and students with humble yet mouth-watering dishes for decades. Follow us to four traditional joints — which we hand-picked with the help of Kennedy Town natives — to enjoy the city’s local flavours, served with a dash of heritage on the side.
1. Cheung Heung Tea Restaurant
This over 50-year-old cha chaan teng dates back to the days when Sai Wan was filled with factories and markets. In the 1970s, Cheung Heung’s ovens were baking non-stop, as it was always packed inside. No less than 32 trays of egg tarts and 30 trays of cocktail buns were sold every day! As of today, the traditional eatery is still a beloved local classic, with three pastry chefs rotating shifts from 12 am to 8 pm to ensure the pastries are always served fresh.
Mr Chow, Cheung Heung’s previous owner, spent 40 years in the business. “I used to be a taxi and minibus driver, but eventually decided to follow my father’s footsteps. It was very harsh in the beginning, I knew nothing about the industry and had little time to learn, but as the owner, they expect you to know everything: making the buns, preparing the perfect milk tea, being the cashier, or even cleaning the washrooms.” Two years ago, Chow retired and passed the restaurant to his sons.
You can’t go wrong with ordering one of the many classics on offer: egg tart, French toast, cocktail bun, satay beef noodles or macaroni with ham, best paired with a refreshing lemon tea or a creamy yuen yeung (coffee with milk tea).
107 Belcher’s St. | Opens daily 5 am – 6.30 pm | +852 28557911
2. Sun Hing Dim Sum
Sun Hing is a family business of over sixty years, chock-a-block with a loyal clientele, ranging from students to the elderly. Be aware of long lines, there are many customers ready to swoop in and grab their spot! Sun Hing’s white walls are adorned with reviews and awards, justifying the large crowd and ever-present chaos. Here, there is no pomp or ceremony – Sun Hing’s purpose is simply to feed customers.
There is no menu here. To order, simply scream down one of the waiters as they scurry out of the kitchen. If Cantonese isn’t your forte, have a look at the many stacks of bamboo steamers with their most popular dim sum right by the front. Simply point, and the baskets with steamed delights will arrive piping hot at your table.
Be sure to try Sun Hing’s house specialities, such as quail’s egg wontons, deep-fried milk, and steamed black sugar cake. We also love the shrimp dumplings, steamed beef meatballs with bean curd, and the creamy custard buns.
Shop C, G/F, 8 Smithfield Road | Opens daily 4 pm – 3 am | +852 2816 0616
3. Cheuk Kee
Tucked away inside the cooked food centre is Cheuk Kee. As it’s known as one of “the three treasures of Sai Wan” — one of the other ones being Cheung Heung, number one on this list, and the already closed-down Sun Chung Wah — it may come as no surprise that it’s a very popular place among the local community.
Cheuk Kee’s owner proudly points at a certificate on the wall signed by the Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong. “There are only a few old eateries here in Kennedy Town that got this certificate for their continuous service to HKU students.”
Plop down at one of the round wooden tables to enjoy Cheuk Kee’s extremely smooth congee, with Cheong fun or turnip cake on the side.
2/F, Smithfield Municipal Service Building, 12K Smithfield | Opens daily 6 am – 3 pm
4. Ho Ho Restaurant
What started as a simple sweet soup cart at Kwan Yick Street about forty years ago, Ho Ho Restaurant has now become one of the most popular late-night supper spots in Kennedy Town. Ms Chan, the restaurant’s owner, still sells the same traditional sweet soups Ho Ho used to be known for, but also western desserts, fried rice, noodles, dumplings and even bubble tea. “You have to know how to change in order for your business to survive,” Ms Chan explains. “Elderly people like traditional sweet and warm desserts, but young people want cold drinks during the summer.”
Ho Ho is a firm favourite of students from the nearby University of Hong Kong who come here for a late-night snack, and it’s not difficult to see why: the restaurant serves up quality comfort food in a laid-back, friendly atmosphere.
It’s difficult to pick a favourite out of all the tasty dishes on offer, but we particularly like Ho Ho’s Chinese sweet soups — try the red bean or green bean soup — and the fried cheong fun (rice noodle rolls) with eggs.
G/F, Luen Wai Apartments, 136-142 Belcher’s St | Opens daily 4 pm – 4 am
Do you want to explore Kennedy Town like a local?
Download our free digital guide packed with insider secrets, background stories and a GPS-based map for easy navigation, so you can get lost without getting lost! We also have a beautifully illustrated ‘Kennedy Town | Sai Wan Neighbourhood Map’ available for free, which you can download here.
Our guides are created by locals, designed by locals and powered by locals… with a little help from iDiscover. Hear their stories, share their passion and learn what they love! Choose app or map. It’s your go-to guide for hidden gems, popular local hotspots, and surprising sites in the neighbourhood, all hand-picked by locals, so that you can shop locally and travel responsibly.